Dissociation is a useful skill to practice and if at all possible assimilate, the ability to observe, contextualize and notate without actual physical and intellectual involvement or exchange of any kind. Think of the experience as being decidedly similar to looking down upon the machinations of an ant farm as it goes about its eternal mundane cycle without the slightest notion of becoming in any way touched or particularly moved by the interaction.
Such cold calculated distancing smacks of psychopathy, except in this particular circumstance it is a choice rather than a symptom. Detachment is strangely unique asset like that, wholly positive in regard to the scientist, philosopher, or other deep thinker, but in the more mundane individual oft considered a dangerous and undesirable trait. Artists of many an ilk are inclined to endure both bouts of detachment and antisocial behaviors, societally excusable in the productive, entertaining or culturally desirable forms, generally frowned upon if perceived as being anarchic or destructive to the current status quo. Thankfully yesterday’s anarchist is often todays populous favorite, hence a Van Gough or Joyce can be elevated from joke to hero in but the simple passing of a few decades, morbidly far too frequently after their early and unfortunate demise.
Disassociation and detachment result from trauma, not necessarily of obvious physical nature, but a deep psychological circumstance. Causes can be simplistic in the extreme, an unfortunate or unkind word, a spurned romantic assignation, a slight of such unimportance as to be inconsequential to the average eye. Such trauma, such pain cannot and never should be measured by some imagined universal scale from one to ten, but rather be accepted as idiosyncratic, unique to each and every human. We all suffer emotional or psychological pain, cringe inwardly at the cruel or unfortunate, weep privately at the sad or inhumane. Physical wounds are inclined to heal, psychological wounds forever continue to fester and disable.